Brodie Van Wagenen put his stamp on the Mets promptly by completing a 7-player blockbuster, roughly a month after he took over the position. Many evaluators pointed to Edwin Díaz as the critical piece in the deal for the Mets, seeing Canó as a salary relief for the Mariners.
The Mets will be paying Canó over his 35-40 age seasons, covering the 120 million left on the remainder of his contract. Although Canó is on the wrong side of 30, his bat and smooth swing have shown no signs of slowing down, as he is hitting .457 in spring thus far, spraying the ball to all fields and showing power. Canó has also shown fluid lateral movement in the field with the opportunities fielded.
Van Wagenen, who represented Canó with CAA, know’s all the intangibles that Canó will bring to the Mets with his offensive production, as well as his leadership and mentor ship he will serve to the Mets growing core.
First and foremost, Robinson Canó is a high caliber, two-way baseball player, even at age 35. The back of his baseball card has statistics typically seen in video games. From age 22 in 2005 to age 30 in 2013 Canó played with the cross-town rival New York Yankees. In his Nine year Bronx Tenure, Canó hit .304/.355/.504 with 204 home runs, 375 doubles, and 822 RBIs. His wins above replacement (WAR) over this stretch was 45.5, and his defensive wins above replacement (dWAR) calculated to be 6.8. Cano, with the Yankees, was a 5-time silver slugger and a 2-time gold glover at second base, he made the All-Star Game 5 times and finished top-10 in the MVP voting four times. He was also a part of the Yankees 2009 world series winning team. His best season with the Yankees arguably came in 2012, where he hit .314/.379/.550 with 33 HR and 94 RBI with an 8.4 WAR.
Following the 2013 season, many people around baseball believed Robinson Canó would resign with the Yankees, following similar paths as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera as players who remained in pinstripes through the entirety of their career. The Yankees offered a 7-year deal for around $175-Million, but the Seattle Mariners outbid everyone in a surprising move singing Robinson Canó to a 10-year, 240 Million Dollar contract which was tied for the 4th largest deal in baseball history at the time. In Canó’s five seasons in Seattle, he hit .296/.353/.472 with 107 HR, 159 doubles, and 411 RBIs with a 23.6 WAR. Canó showed that he could remain a 5-WAR average player like he was with the Yankees in his ages 30 to 35 seasons. His best season came in 2016, where the 33-year old hit .298/.350/.533 with 39 HRs, 33 doubles, and 103 RBIs. In his tenure with the Mariners, Canó was a three-time all-star, winning the all-star MVP in 2017, and finished top 10 in MVP voting twice.
The one blip in Canó run with the Mariners was his 80 game suspension in 2018 for Furosemide, a diuretic. Diuretics are on the list of banned substances in baseball for masking other prohibited substances. Many in baseball questioned if Canó would remain the same player in his ages 35 to 40 seasons, especially after a PED suspension. In the 41 games following his suspension, Canó didn’t miss a beat hitting .317/.363/.497 with 6 HRs and 27 RBIs. Currently this spring, Canó has continued hitting with what looks like ease, with his smooth swing, spreading the ball all over the field. Canó this spring thus far has hit .457/.486/.686 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs. There is no signs yet, that this 35 year old won’t stop hitting and he has looked nimble in the field. Canó has said he feels like he is 25, and his play so far has shown it.
Lead By Example
The last time Canó played in New York, he was consistently making the playoffs, reaching the postseason 7 out of 9 seasons, with being the division winners five times. He grew to be the star he has become today within an environment of winning culture. He’s now back in New York, and his new locker is the one that used to be the last Mets leader’s locker, David Wright. When asked about this in a Newsday article written by baseball columnist David Lennon, Canó stated “Nobody is going to replace David Wright…We know what he did, and sadly he had to end his career that way. I feel special that I get to have his locker. But this is a game you play as a team. I’m going to go out and do my best and give everything I got yes I will. But I don’t like to put pressure on myself that I have to go out and be that guy.”
Canó doesn’t seem like the one who will be the loudest in the clubhouse or call a team meeting but is the guy who will play the game the right way, with a high baseball IQ and talk to others around the team sharing his insights and thoughts about the game.
A significant reason why the Mets brought back José Reyes last season was to continue his mentor role with the organization’s youngest player Amed Rosario. The Mets now have Canó to fill in that role, which the two have been seen attached at the hip. A recent New York Post article got a quote from Robinson Canó claiming “Rosario is going to be a superstar,’’ which surely gave the 22-year-old some confidence, coming from such an established player like Canó. Canó continued to explain ” He can run, he can field, he’s strong, and he is going to add muscle as he gets older, that’s going to be something else. He listens, too.” It’s not just Rosario who has been getting insight from Canó, but also players like Pete Alonso, whose locker is situated right next to Canó’s. Alonso stated in an SNY interview that he wants to be a sponge with the veterans and absorb as much information that he can.
Canó is a significant presence on the team with his track record of playing the game right and producing all-star numbers offensively and defensively. With the team losing their captain, David Wright, and their number 3 hitter due to double heel surgery, Yoenis Cespedes, Canó helps fill both of those holes as the Mets hope to compete in a heavily competitive N.L. East.
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